Management of children and adolescents with primary immune thrombocytopenia: controversies and solutions


Thomas Kühne, Division of Oncology/Hematology, University Children’s Hospital, Postfach, Spitalstrasse 33, CH-4031 Basel, Switzerland


The management including diagnostic procedures, prophylaxis, treatment and follow-up of patients with primary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) in childhood is controversial due to limited clinical data, difficulties in the estimation of individual bleeding risk and heterogeneity of pathophysiology potentially causing various treatment responses. Advances in the management of children include increased international collaborations, improved quality of diagnosis and treatment, increased clinical data, refinement of consensus statements where clinical evidence is absent, new drugs and last but not least establishment of watch-and-wait strategies. The Intercontinental Cooperative ITP Study Group promotes international collaboration since more than 10 years based on a worldwide network and experience in registries. Future considerations include concentration of available resources, strengthening international collaboration, focusing on most important scientific and clinical questions, such as identification of the subgroup of patients that benefits most from prophylactic platelet-enhancing treatments and investigation of treatment endpoints other than concepts solely based on the platelet count, including bleeding symptoms, health-related quality of life and economical aspects of treatments.